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Get growing: Wetlands joins National Tree Day

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Green thumbs from the Hunter Wetlands dug deep to join National Tree Day last week.

The annual call to action, started in 1996 by Planet Ark and Olivia Newton John, is Australia’s largest community tree planting and nature protection event aimed at planting one million new trees, shrubs and grasses each year. 

This year’s National Tree Day event was held on Sunday 31 July, and attracted about 300,000 Australians, including Hunter Wetlands Environmental Education Centre principal Peter Jones and ‘Thursday Mob’ Landcare team member Bruce Tozer.

The pair planted an Elaeocarpus obovatus, or Northern Blueberry Ash, within the region’s popular nature reserve.

The new addition can be found at Pambalong Brush, a special part of the Wetlands named in honour of the First Nations People who lived nearby Ironbark Creek.

“This tree is very important in the history of the Lower Hunter,” Mr Jones said.

“Ash Island was named after the magnificent specimens that grew in the original rainforest that covered Ash Island and Kooragang. 

“For those with an interest in plants Elaeocarpus means elaeo, or olive, and carpus means fruit. 

“Obovatus alludes to the obovate shape of the leaves.”

The new tree, expected to grow up to 10 metres tall, was planted alongside some Acacias which will provide shade while it grows.

The Hunter Wetlands has several Landcare groups. One of these (the ‘Thursday Mob’), under the leadership of Paddy Lightfoot, has been clearing an area of weedy trees and large woody shrubs to re-establish local rainforest around Pambalong Brush. 

The Hunter Wetlands Centre is a wildlife sanctuary located 10 minutes from the Newcastle CBD sprawled on 45 hectares, boasting more than 250 wildlife species.

If you are interested in joining the Landcare teams call Hunter Wetlands Centre on 02 4951 6466 or email [email protected] to register your interest.

The Hunter Wetlands Centre is a community-owned, not-for-profit organisation run entirely by volunteers who manage the region’s internationally-recognised wetlands.

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